This is totally up the alley of our favorite folks at 37signals.

Yesterday, I saw a new advertisement for Sam Adams on TV. In the documentary-style ad, an interviewer asks people how big a company do they believe Sam Adams’ is. Some of the interviewees respond “Sam Adams has 25% market share” or say “They are huge”.

And then the ad reveals that actually Sam Adams has only 0.9% market share (Don’t know whether it is of the lager market, or the overall beer market or something else. But the point is they want to highlight that it is a small number) This really struck me because usually companies boast about how they are the #1 player in the market or how they have a very large market share.

Here is a link to the commercial (video quality is poor).

The commercial ends with the CEO saying “We are in a perfect place. We are big enough to get whatever ingredients from wherever in the world we need to get it from, and we are small enough to still want to do all that crazy stuff.

Staying small helps them try out new and different ideas and lets them provide a better product. Very much in sync with the approach that 37signals preaches.